Meals to Make us Feel Better

March 18th, 2020

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We are all aware that these are hard times.  Social sacrifices are necessary.  Everyone should be hunkering down at home to avoid getting, or spreading the Coronavirus.  Grocery stores are out of stock on many items.  But meals don’t have to be boring.  That can of tuna in the pantry doesn’t have to be made into a tuna sandwich or a tuna casserole.  Why not make Tuna Tostadas?  It does require a can of pickled jalapeños and carrots, but I bet that is one item that will not be depleted on the grocery shelves.  The crunchy fried corn tortillas also gives this dish pizazz.

Pappardelle-with-Pine-Nuts-2VPappardelle with Pine Nuts, Prosciutto (or Bacon), and Brown Butter is another satisfying meal which relies on some pantry items and special items like Prosciutto and pine nuts.  Substitute bacon and slivered almonds if you like.

Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs

Margarita Glazed Chicken Thighs are a fun way to spark up mealtime.  Especially with a margarita on the side.  Keeping an upbeat attitude is good for us.

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Baking bread is a rewarding pastime at any time.  But it is especially so when you are housebound.  The kneading, slow rising and aromatic baking is soothing to the soul.  This Rosemary-Garlic Baguette recipe is easy.  Make several and share with your neighbors.

Julia-Childs-Scalloped-Potatoes-3

Julia Child’s Scalloped Potatoes are a classic.  With simple ingredients you can transform the lowly potato into a gourmet treat.  Nobody does it better than Julia.  Also, if you haven’t read any of the books about Julia Child you can find them on Amazon.

Mom's Black Bottom Cake

Starry starry night chocolate cake is special to me.  It is an easy chocolate cake that reminds me of my artistic Mother. Go out and look at the stars. Stay kind to everyone Be safe and healthy.

 

Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup

March 9th, 2020

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Winter’s last gasp has even hit Florida.  Last week was unseasonably cool and windy.  A fire was lit in the fireplace and I craved comfort food.  Soup is always my first choice.  Soup made with lots of vegetables puréed to a smooth consistency is also my first choice.  The depth of flavor created is heartwarming. Add to that lots of Poblano chilis, which are not hot but pleasantly warm, and you have the perfect bowl of soup.  Chicken is just a given.  Chicken soup has been warming our bellies forever.

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This recipe came from Joanna Gaines which will appear in her new cookbook Magnolia Table Volume Two.  It can be preordered on Amazon.

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A chicken soup with a Mexican flair and crispy tortilla strips is the best way to say goodbye to Winter. We return to Lake Lure at the end of the month.

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Stay warm wherever you are.

CREAMY CHICKEN POBLANO SOUP

ingredients

+ 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
+ 2 cups small-diced onion (about 1 large)
+ 4 celery stalks, cut into medium dice
+ 3 carrots, cut into medium dice
+ 2 garlic cloves, minced
+ 3 medium poblano peppers, seeded and cut into medium dice
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
+ 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
+ 1 teaspoon ground cumin
+ 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
+ 8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth
+ 2 cups heavy cream
+ 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (home-roasted or rotisserie chicken)
+ 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
+ Tortilla chips and sliced radishes, for garnish

instructions

1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and poblanos and sauté, stirring often, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme and sauté until caramelized and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes longer.

2. Add the broth and cream, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes to meld the flavors.

3. Use an immersion blender to carefully blend the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, let cool slightly and, working in batches as necessary, process in a stand blender until smooth, filling the blender no more than half full and removing the lid slowly after blending. Pour the soup back into the pot.)

4. Add the chicken and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes to meld the flavors to your liking. Stir in the cilantro.

5. Serve warm, garnished with tortilla strips and sliced radishes.

6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Walnut and Rosemary Baked Salmon

March 1st, 2020

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We have salmon quite often.  I find it one of the easiest fish to cook.  The beauty of this recipe is that the oven does most of the work. The salmon is coated with a mixture of chopped walnuts and minced rosemary and baked.   What takes if over the top is a drizzle of browned butter when it is plated.  It hits all of the right notes.

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The recipe is one from Eva Kosmas Flores of the blog Adventures in Cooking.  I love her moody photography and beautiful food.  She offers photography workshops and has written two cookbooks.

 

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Visit Eva’s blog for the recipe.  You will love the professional quality of her website.

Low Carb Cornbread

February 19th, 2020

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I have been hesitant to share this recipe with you.  Not because it isn’t delicious, but because it uses a couple of ingredients that I first thought were questionable.  My philosophy is to use as many natural and high quality ingredients as I can find.  But because my husband is limiting his carbs, he is always ordering ingredients to compensate for higher carb alternatives.  Corn and cornmeal are high in carbohydrates.  This cornbread is made with almond flour with the addition of Sweet Corn Extract.  The extract contains no artificial ingredients.  Even though it is rather expensive, a little goes a long way and it has a long shelf life.IMG_9201

The other ingredient is Besti monk fruit allulose blend.  It is a natural alternative to sugar.  You can click on the link to read about it and decide for yourself if it is a sugar substitute that you would feel comfortable using.

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I was surprised by how much I loved this “cornbread”.  It was extra moist, slightly sweet and definitely corny.  I will be adding this to my repertoire of low carb recipes.  By the way, David made this; start to finish.  He did a good job and cleaned the kitchen too.  All I did was photograph it!

LOW CARB CORNBREAD (From Wholesome Yum)

5 cups Blanched almond flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup Besti monk fruit allulose blend
1 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup Butter (melted; plus more for greasing)
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 large eggs
1 Tbsp Sweet corn extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet with butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, sweetener, and sea salt.

Stir in the melted butter, almond milk and eggs, until smooth.  Stir in the sweet corn extract.

Transfer the batter into the skillet and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

Printable Recipe

 

Baked Smothered Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

February 10th, 2020

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If you want a simple and juicy pork chop, this is your recipe.  I am enjoying cooking in my smaller Florida kitchen. Because counter space is limited, I have been concentrating on doing all of the individual steps in meal prep (Mise en place) and then assembling all of the pieces into the finished meal.  I also feel more organized and relaxed cooking this way.

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We were very pleased with this recipe.  Sometimes pork chops are dry, but I have to say that these were very juicy and flavorful with the caramelized onion gravy.  It was a great meal for a Sunday evening.  I have to thank my husband for finding the recipe and shopping for the ingredients.  I assumed he was going to cook them also, but he got busy on his computer and deferred to me.  In my quiet kitchen I rinsed, chopped and cooked; the best therapy I know.

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Enjoy!

BAKED SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS WITH ONION GRAVY (Adapted from Wholesome Yum)

4 6-oz. Boneless pork chops
1 tsp Seal salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
Garlic powder and onion powder to taste
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 large Onions, sliced into then half moons
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Fresh thyme
1 cup Chicken broth
1.5 oz Cream cheese, cut into small chunks

Season the pork chops on both sides with seal salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pork chops and sear on both sides, about 3 minutes per side without moving, until browned.  Transfer the pork chops to a plate and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low or medium.  Using the same pan, saute the slice onions for 15-20 minutes, until caramelized.

Once the onions are caramelized, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the minced garlic and thyme leaves to the dutch oven or pan.  Saute for about a minute, until fragrant.

Add the chicken broth to the pan.  Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until it gets thicker and the volume is reduced by a least 1/4.

Remove from heat.  Add the cream cheese.  Stir in the cream cheese until it melts into the sauce.

Return the pork chops to the pan and spoon the sauce and onions over them.  Cover with a lid and bake for 20-25 minutes,until cooked through. (Time will vary depending on the thickness of your pork chops- use a thermometer to check and cook to 145 degrees F.

Printable Recipe

 

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.